Researching people of color can be difficult in mainstream records. Misspellings, name changes and use of nicknames, are not uncommon. Occasionally, though, there is some fantastic family information to be found in other sources, such as the following biographical entry from "A History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri".
“Anderson Hogue, a prominent farmer, and the owner of 500 acres of land in Wright County, Mo., was born in Marion County, Tennessee, in 1805, and was sold to a man by the name of Anderson Hogue, by his former master, who was also his father. From Anderson Hogue he takes his name. He was married in Tennessee to Miss Hannah Burnett, also a slave, and her master was also her father. She became the mother of six children: Nancy, wife of Thomas Haney; Fanny, who was married twice, and who is now deceased; Mary A. Tennessee, wife of James Payne; Henry A., Nelson and George. The mother of these children died in Tennessee, in the time of slavery. Three years after her death Mr. Hogue married Miss Theresa Hogue, one of the slaves of his last master, and to this union have been born twelve children: Sarah (deceased), Robert, Lizzie, wife of William Trout; Adalaide, wife of Peter Hooper; Laura B., also married; Lonnie, Augusta M., wife of Newton Trout; Florence, wife of George Layer; William, Eddins R., Maude and Ida. Mr. Hogue was married before the war, and lived twenty-one miles below Chattanooga, on the State Road. He saw Sherman on his march to the sea. Five years after peace was declared he and his family came north, settling in Wright County, and being the first colored family in the same. Mr. Hogue is a Republican in politics, and Mrs. Hogue is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.”
Page 1178 from The History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri. Originally printed by the Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889 and reprinted 1974 by BNL Library Service.
Anderson appears on the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census for Wright County. In 1870 his last name was spelled Hoge and his first name was abbreviated And., and his wife's name was spelled Levicy. In the 1880 census his full first name is used and his wife's name is listed as Lucretia.
If you are beginning to research your family, here are some books that can help you get started.
Finding your roots : the official companion to the PBS series by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Finding Oprah's roots: finding your own [video recording]
A genealogist's guide to discovering your African-American ancestors : how to find and record your unique heritage by Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom.
Black families of the Ozarks, also available online.
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